13 Wonderful Countries of South America ...

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The 13 countries of South America make up one surely fascinating continent.

From the Caribbean coastline at the top, to the Cape of Fire at the bottom, the countries of South America, present every geographical and climate extreme.

Conquered and reclaimed, modern yet historical, fiercely independent or politically oppressed, the countries of South America are an eclectic collection.

Here’s just a short introduction to the 13 Wonderful Countries of South America:

1. Brazil

Capital: Brasilia

Land area: 3.3 million square miles

Population: 192 million

The grand daddy of them all, Brazil is the largest of the South American countries and the 5th largest country in the world.2

Home of the samba, the carnival and probably the greatest soccer team, thanks to its size, it boasts a huge variety of landscapes and ecological diversity.

The huge Amazon River, thousands of miles of rain forest, white sand beaches and bustling music filled metropolitan areas all await the visitor.

Naturally, wildlife watching is an amazing experience but then, so is lying on Copacabana Beach in the shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain.

2. Suriname

Capital: Paramaribo

Land area: 63,000 square miles

Population: 492 thousand

Suriname differs from the other countries of South America in that it was a Dutch colony rather than having been ruled by the Spanish or Portuguese.

It is the smallest sovereign state on the continent and most of the people live in the north.

The interior is characterized by rivers and extremely dense rainforest.

Most visitors tend to stick around Paramaribo and the coast.

The city is a delightful mix of Dutch colonial and multi-ethnic influences.

Surprisingly cosmopolitan, Paramaribo is a terrific destination for foodies, shoppers and part animals.

3. Paraguay

Capital: Asuncion

Land area: 157,000 square miles

Population: 6.45 million

Paraguay is the archetypical land of contrasts.

Of all the countries in South America, nowhere demonstrates the concepts of wealthy and poor or ancient and modern, more than Paraguay.

Shanty towns shuck up to highly cultivated metropolitan suburbs, Mercedes and BMWs vie for road space with mules and donkey carts and ancient Jesuit ruins perch on cliff tops above massive man-made dams.

It is recovering from years of left-wing junta-style dictatorship at a blistering pace having recorded the 2nd fastest rate of economic development in the world in 2010.

Not on the usual tourist trail but visitors will find the locals friendly and welcoming.

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